Maybe it’s gaslighting, or maybe he’s just so willfully obtuse that he’s achieved the political equivalent of orbiting Neptune. But the thing Philip Bump just did in the Bezos Newsletter is, like, chef’s kiss. It’s a miracle of empty bullshit, an example of fake-engaging people whose worldview you don’t share by turning their words over, shaking out all the meaning, and then holding up the emptied shell and saying that look, there’s nothing inside this. The headline: “That Giorgia Meloni speech captivating the U.S. right doesn’t make sense.”
He’s referring to this speech, or rather to this little piece of a speech:
Giorgia Meloni talks about the family, and she says, “Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening?” She links the decline of the family, and the attack on the stability of the family, to commodification and financialization, to the metastasization of social atomization and consumer identity. And Philip Bump has noooooooo idea, or pretends to have no idea, what she means:
But we’re getting away from the other odd claim, that people find her identity as a mother, Christian or Italian “disgusting.” Who does, exactly?
….There’s an enormous pull to believing that you are fighting nefarious forces bent on making the world worse. We will defend God, country and family! Yes! Sign me up! But against who? How? On what battlefields? Listening to the speech, you get caught up in the emotion, by design. Upon reflection, though, you notice that, for those questions, there isn’t a great answer.
An attack on the family? Like, what is she even talking about? “On what battlefields?” Meanwhile, it’s been more than four decades since the historian Christopher Lasch — entirely a figure of the American academic left — famously published a deeply argued narrative about the decline of the American family, a decline he blamed on corporate capitalism and the growth of a technocratic managerial elite that displaced family functions with the emergence of the “helping professions.”
So Bump shows up roughly forty or fifty years into a long-established discussion and pretends to be shocked by this weird new claim about the family. “But against who?”
Meanwhile, as I’ve written and written and written, the California legislature spent the year advancing legislation — that ultimately and mercifully failed against considerable backlash from parents — that would have allowed 12 year-olds to get mRNA injections without parental knowledge or consent. Senators arguing for the bill said loudly and repeatedly that it advanced no new premises, since California already allows 12 year-olds to get contraception, abortions, and medical treatment for STDs or injuries from “intimate partner violence” without parental knowledge or consent.
But what attack on parenting and the family are you even talking about, Philip Bump wants to know.
Adding points to the obtuseness scoreboard, Bump is also baffled by all the stuff Meloni says about consumerism:
Here, though, Meloni seems to suggest that all of this is an attempt to sell stuff….
There have long been complaints on the right about how corporations try to leverage calls for diversity as marketing or employee retention ploys. (There have been similar complaints on the left, in fact!) But Meloni reverses this, suggesting that corporations and financial speculators — somehow not winking while she uses that term — are promoting “wokeism” to somehow make money….
It’s inscrutable — unless, perhaps, you assume that there is a powerful global financial elite that controls everything and that must necessarily therefore be orchestrating “wokeism.”
Somebody introduce Philip Bump to Larry Fink. Woke corporations? Wut?
Again, in the middle of a raging culture war over ESG and corporate political demands, with Coca-Cola denouncing Georgia state law and Disney denouncing Florida state law and Salesforce threatening Indiana and literally every other red zone….
Philip Bump just has no idea what this Meloni person is talking about. Promoting wokeism!?!?!?
If someone makes an argument, and you want to argue against it, do that. But this thumbsucking what-is-she-even-talking-about performance, this make-believe that turns a bunch of extremely well known cultural and political disputes into weird ranting that descended from somewhere out in deep space, is a ludicrous performance.
Philip Bump sucks. He’s just awful. Reading the Washington Post rots the brain.
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Mr. Ramaswamy is getting angrier. As he should.
There was a story today accusing “Moms 4 Liberty” of getting a book banned in York County, PA, about girls learning to code. The author whipped up a frenzy against this group as “book burners” and racist bigots who want girls to fail in life. One of the main leaders of the group was taken back, not having even heard of the book. 20 minutes of investigation proved the story wrong, but not before news outlets and screaming liberal moms started crying for blood.
Damage done. Which is, I assume, the point.
And no one bothered to verify the truth of the claim. Journalism is truly dead, isn’t it.
Ah…poor Mr Bump. I take it he never had to make a trip to the HR department or sit through annual DEI trainings. Maybe the WAPO doesn’t have those things. He must have also been absent during the 2008 financial crash, and subsequent corporate bailouts where cash was printed and shoveled out to Wall Street by the truckload against the back drop of millions of foreclosures of family homes. That’s not an attack on the family! It was probably just a coincidence that corporate America decided to hide behind the shield of wokism right about the same time occupy Wall Street was revving up and families were being decimated. The new and improved corporate branding policy became: “We’re not bad, YOU are. And, don’t you forget it.” But, all is forgiven if you just be quiet and buy our shit. In fact, they now have entire departments dedicated to train you on just how rotten you really are for wanting a home, a family, a nation, a border, a history and culture.
Yeah…that was a cute little head fake Mr Bump, in your attempt to diminish Meloni’s content of universal truths. You failed. Weak sauce.